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The Way of the Sikh
Letter & Spirit # 39





Translated from Bhai Vir Singh's ‘Gurmukh Sikhia’


Part XXV-C

The lasting peace that is found through repetition of Naam or in holy company is extremely scarce. Nevertheless, this is the real commodity.

A tree toils for an entire year towards the blossom that lasts only a few days. The worldly pleasures also satisfy us for a very short time and they make us lose our peace.

The lasting joy found on the path to Waheguru is priceless. Someone who endeavors to recite the entire Guru Granth Sahib in one sitting, for example, cannot know its secret but may succeed in augmenting the haumai.

If a light bulb is colored blue, the light is blue. The blue light cannot claim to be pure white light. That pure light is inside the bulb. Just as the tongue cannot claim to be God, the mind cannot identify itself with God either.

Someone who is like God does not talk. The divine does not mind even if the physical head was cut off. The one who talks is neither God nor like God.

It is true that the water in a kettle is the same as the water in the ocean. But the ocean can sink a ship into oblivion. The water in a kettle cannot.

On the other hand, when Krishna was telling Arjun (in the Bhagvad Gita) to leave all religions and take only his sanctuary, Krishna was talking as a personal teacher, not an impersonal God. We need to meet a Krishna, a Gurmukh.

*   *   *   *   *

God has created immense diversity. Diversity has a purpose. The purpose is to help us evolve from trees and animals, to manifest the human, and then for the humans to merge into The Oneness.

Only the Shabad lights my house now” [GGS:384.14].

The vibrations of the Shabad are direct. We can hear the Shabad through these vibrations. At first, practice of Shabad removes our burdens and we feel light. This is a sign that the dirt is being washed away and purity is taking over.

Later, the direction of Shabad converts into a certain stillness. Its vibrations turn into light. This light is not an ordinary visible light.

Just as, when we have recovered from a cold we can breathe freely and we can feel the smell again, the Shabad makes us sensitive. Then we can sense the difference between good and evil. Our mind then spontaneously rejects evil and we avoid individuals with evil intentions.

*   *   *   *   *

A Sikh journalist used to write religious papers. Once he came to see me at Amritsar with some companions. During our discussion he boasted that he had never spent time with any saadhu (holy man), that whatever he had achieved he had achieved it himself.

Such thinking can lead to atheism due to degeneration of faith. When a person starts to see oneself as a sant or a leader, then one collects only dirt. Absence of a teacher results in this affliction.

We need both: God and a teacher. God is our Satguru and a Gurmukh is our teacher. If we come across a Gurmukh whose words prompt perfect faith and love in us, we then need to trust and act on whatever such a person says. My own spiritual progress was possible because I have had the fortune of company of a great soul.

Repetition of Naam lifts a load from our mind. Our inner attention then becomes creative, and our mind becomes very sensitive. We then spontaneously distance ourselves from any evil influences.

I did not feel good in the company of this journalist. I wanted him to leave. But since he had come to see me, I tried to explain to him that guidance of a Gurmukh is always necessary on the spiritual path. One cannot reach the destination through one’s own effort even though people imagine having reached it.

At the same time, most so-called sants are there to deceive others while a pure soul, a Gurmukh, if he ever teaches anyone, does so only under some Hukam (command).

As we have said, when a cold is gone our sense of smell returns. Similarly, when the mind is cleansed it becomes sensitive and aware.

But this awareness should not be used to get recognition or fame. Sometimes, passions, lust, etc. appear to be under control, but just as a serpent frozen in ice appears to be dead, it wakes up as soon as the ice melts. Similarly, we need to be vigilant against self-praise because it takes us towards atheism by making us lose faith in God.

It is easy to read some great books and then call oneself a brahmgyani, but truth lies in importing the virtues of a brahmgyani into our own nature.

*   *   *   *   *

Being constantly mindful of my Guru, I awaken my sleeping mind” [GGS:758.6].

If someone is not awake but talks, one is merely babbling.

It is true that water in a gutter and water in a river are both water. Chemically they are water, but one is dirty, the other is clean. Similarly, even though essentially they are the same, it is wrong for a man, a mantle of dirt, to call himself God.

Some individuals renounce the world and then they identify themselves with the higher self. This error keeps them from reaching their destination. Regardless of the spiritual level, as long as a living being has any dirt at all, it cannot be called the higher self.

Dirty water cannot purify itself. It becomes pure by merging with the clean river.

A bramgyani leans on naam for his support” [GGS:273.7].

One must not give up Naam, regardless of how pure and how high one is. Those who identify themselves as the Self and give up Naam, they fall short of the goal.

Vedanta is not wrong. A Vedanti (a follower of Vedanta) is wrong who, being an ordinary human being filled with dirt, regards himself as God.

Naam has the power to transform us and to purify us. We must never doubt this. Someone who failed to realize this change through Naam must not have practiced the pure, true Naam.

At first, a friend S. Harbans Singh from Atari did not believe in Naam’s power. Once he asked me, “What is your opinion? Is there power in Naam? I do not believe so,” he said.

I said that Naam is truly powerful. I asked him if he had ever tried it, if not then he should. So he tried practicing simran continuously for fifteen days. As a result, he did not emerge from his house for fifteen days.

After this he became a true believer of Naam and its power.

*   *   *   *   *

A woman gets naked in front of her husband, but not in public. Simlarly, Naam makes us very sensitive because it denudes our soul by removing the dirt. When the soul is thus made naked, it enjoys being with her husband, Waheguru.

All these hints are meant for the spiritual path, not for other relationships.

When we notice evil in others, it makes us sad. When our loved ones or our relatives make mistakes, we can gently instruct them with love. But if they are stubborn, then we must not burden ourselves. We should see it as His will, and be carefree.

Having a spiritual teacher’s protection is imperative, without it one falls off from the path. We must protect ourselves from the cheating and secret evils of our own mind. Our acts must not be for personal gain or fame but for society’s welfare, so that our body is worthwhile.

All the so-called saadhus (holy men) are not genuine and pure. It is a serious mistake to regard all saadhus as good people. A true saadhu is extremely rare and very difficult to find. Learning of Naam from such a Gurmukh comes from exceptionally good fortune.

January 22, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), January 23, 2014, 6:01 AM.

For a Sikh, the journey is one that requires a definite commitment, because he/she sticks out of the crowd like a sore thumb! And this 'identity' issue is there for most Sikhs, especially when they are outside Punjab. The Sikh leaders are there just for the money and fame, and have put off most of the Sikhs to have any connection with their faith and ideology, leaving them to emulate non-Sikhs and all the rituals and superstitions that this choice entails! However if you have a moment when you are hit with the Diamond Bullet of the ecstasy of the Naam Shabad and it is greater than that of any music or song you have ever heard, or the greatest pleasure you have experienced, then that will show you the power of what Guru Nanak says that without Naam everything else is futile and causes great mental anguish when we get drawn to it, whether it's alcohol, sex, or money! This can all be resolved with attachment to the Naam Shabad and understanding that the beauty of the poetry of the Naam Shabad and its message, will make this the most important and valuable commodity you will gather in this lifetime! The respect for Guru Nanak is the greatest respect and is way beyond any respect for your mortal parents, siblings and spouse ... Respect for Guru Gobind Singh will lead you to full morality and discipline to lead a life like no other on Earth, where you will have the belief that in this Dark Age you and your pure identity and ideology are a beacon of light which sends out an aura of Truth, Decency and loving Human values that the rest of troubled Humanity looks up to as a saving force!

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The Way of the Sikh
Letter & Spirit # 39"

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